RAW opened up this week with Sasha Banks cutting a promo and, well, I'd normally be upset with more talk and less action but at least a woman is getting the mic... And it's ruined for me. She name-dropped Eddie Guerrero and then Trish and Lita. Ugh. Sasha gloated about becoming a two time RAW Women's Champion. Considering how long that title has been around, I wouldn't be bragging about that. Sasha says she wants Charlotte to cash in her rematch at Hell in a Cell and she wants to fight Charlotte inside the Cell. Charlotte makes her entrance but is cut off by Rusev and Lana for some reason. Does Rusev think Eddie Guerrero is still alive and he's hoping for a mixed tag match? Rusev says no one cares about the women revolution... Standing... Next... To... Lana... Who is a woman, despite what her recent Mattel action figure might lead you to believe. Charlotte grabs the mic from Rusev and then he calls her "black swan". This is just getting confusing now. Why are any of these people out here now? Lana says The Cell is for real men like Rusev- who shaved his mustache off and looks weird- and then both Lana and Rusev take a double dropkick from Sasha and Charlotte. Cue Roman Reigns' music... and you thought RAW was going to open with something other than another stupid Roman Reigns segment! Hahahahahahahaha It's like WWE is trolling its audience.
I got distracted by going to WWE.com and clicking on an article about six times the RKO was kicked out of because the photo was of a younger Randell with hair and it looked like he was fighting either Erick Rowan (too early) or Duke Drose so I had to see who it was exactly that kicked out. As it turns out, it was The Undertaker. Disappointing.
New Day was out next making references to sports and then "Full House". Well, at least I got the Jose Canseco reference just not the second one. New Day gave compliments to Cesaro but still seemed to dislike Sheamus, which was funny but it only really tried to make there be a rift between the two. I'm hoping that... Well, I wouldn't say hoping... Okay... Let me run down for you why this whole angle is stupid. Even Michael Cole said that Cesaro and Sheamus are a tag team because their best of seven series didn't have a winner. So obviously they'll not win the tag titles and then have one more match which I will NOT WANT TO SEE. And if the makeshift team of Cesaro and Sheamus defeat New Day I will no longer watch RAW because New Day needs to break that Demolition record. Apparently this match is Kofi vs. Cesaro. I had this weird dream that Xavier Woods was allowed to appear as part of a faction in TNA while also being in WWE still and so that kind of made me a weird fan of Xavier since. I want to buy all of his action figures now and try to remember what his faction in TNA was exactly. Kofi Kingston gets the win and the commentators stressing how Cesaro and Sheamus don't have a chance to win the tag titles better not mean that Cesaro and Sheamus are winning the titles.
A Goldberg recap from ESPN is up next because why not. So basically, Goldberg says he beats Brock Lesnar once and he'd like to do it again because why not fight someone he hasn't before and really challenge himself. Paul Heyman will respond later tonight and I can't hardly wait for this talking segment which may or may not lead to a match I certainly will not care about.
Bayley is out next and she is facing Cami Fields. I'm kind of surprised this made the Hulu cut but perhaps someone out there is listening to me. Bayley gets the win and then is attacked by Dana Brooke, so here's a bit of action, which is nice. Bayley going through Dana Brooke to get to Charlotte or even the championship (Should Sasha retain the title at HIAC) should be fun. Is it Hell In A Cell or Hell In THE Cell??
We come back to find Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon in the ring for more talking I assume. Stephanie just confirmed it will be called Hell In A Cell. There are so many matches that I'm assuming are being eliminated right now because these two are talking about I don't know what. Oh, Mick is confirming the women being in The Cell, which you know, again, could have been done with a tweet. Mick then puts Rollins-Owens inside The Cell as well. This brings out Kevin Owens. Owens takes a shot at Foley, which is deserved. Stephanie basically puts Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho in the main event and if Jericho wins he's in the title match at HIAC. As much as I doubt Kevin Owens wants that, why would Seth Rollins want a triple threat? Rollins is being interviewed backstage and he also confirms he does not want Jericho in the match at HIAC. Seth Rollins says Stephanie's plan will become OBSOLETE and I'm waiting for Broken Matt Hardy to show up now.
Lana and Charlotte have a backstage bit and then so do TJP and Brian Kendrick. And now Roman Reigns is talking to Sasha Banks. Why is this RAW is TALK now?? Someone PLEASE make it stop. We're going from backstage segment to backstage segment. The commentators are standing up now and they're TALKING about the Royal Rumble. Are there really no matches left for this three hour shit show? I don't believe it. And now we're getting Rumble stats in freaking October.
And now we're into the mixed tag match which means we missed- ready, count it down- Sin Cara & Lince Dorado def. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak (1), Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson attack Enzo & Cass (not a match), Sami Zayn & Neville def. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (2), R-Truth def. Titus O'Neil (3) and Braun Strowman def. The Splash Brothers (4). So all of that talking and the Hulu replay sacrificed FOUR matches. I'd rather see squash matches than all of this talking. These stupid talking segments are what need to be cut out of the Hulu replay. And that's not to say I really want to see this mixed tag team match either. Sasha made Charlotte tap and hooray for nothing, I'd rather see some of the characters we might only otherwise see on Main Event or whatever (Bring on the cruiserweights!) You know I'll check out the matches via YouTube for sure though.
And now we jump to Paul Heyman after a locker room segment with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. There is still hope for that TJP match to be on the Hulu replay... Please... But wait, Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg is being shown in video game form. I take it all back. Watching all of this talking and not wrestling was worth it because I got to see video game footage. I wonder if Ryback wishes he stuck around now that Goldberg appears to be returning. Paul Heyman says that Goldberg's career was running parallel to Brock Lesnar and I have to disagree. Goldberg was crushing jobbers and couldn't cut it in the NFL. Brock Lesnar is a genetic freak. I am not looking forward to this rematch. At. All. Not even a little.
TJP vs. Little Davari was shown with Brian Kendrick on commentary while I was searching for my winter clothes. The main event saw Seth Rollins defeat Chris Jericho because having two triple threats in a row would be weird, right? Right?? Overall I think this version of RAW could have done better with less talking and more fighting. It felt like they purposely left off the better parts so that if you're watching it on the Hulu replay you have no choice but to dislike it.
Smack Down! opened with Dolph Ziggler announcing he wasn't forced into retirement and the WWE Universe swerved us all. The Miz came out and then was mocked for crying- ugh- because men showing emotions is weak. The Miz somehow booked a handicap match with the two Spirit Squad members who are not Mitch and Johnny vs. Dolph Ziggler. Dolph got the win and then The Miz went on the attack until Heath Slater and Rhyno made the save. Having the two remaining Spirit Squad members challenge for the tag titles would be kind of funny.
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan issued a traditional five on five Survivor Series match for RAW vs. Smack Down! and this could be trouble if William Regal shows up at ringside and laughs during it.
A clip was shown of Carmella attacking Nikki Bella when Nikki was being interviewed about the new show Total Bellas. This is why Carmella is NOT the heel here, people. If you talk about your stupid reality show, you're gonna get beat up. I like this mean streak of Carmella because it gives me something to cheer as a fan of, you know, not the Bellas. Nikki Bella comes out with a bunch of refs, so she can't get into the ring but she distracts Carmella enough that Naomi can get the roll up and now Naomi has wins over both Carmella and Alexa Bliss. Naomi for champion, yo! Well... Anyone other than Becky Lynch would be fine as champion for me at this point. After the match, Naomi did a ridiculous dance after having her hand raised by Nikki Bella. Remember when The Bellas were with Alicia Fox and they were rivals with Team B.A.D. which had Naomi in it? Also, some backstage interviewer talked to Alexa Bliss and said "Nye-oh-me" before Daniel Bryan booked Bliss-Naomi for next week. Good thing I skipped No Mercy!
Mauro said the "recent past" in the next match- Chad Gable vs. an Uso- but it wasn't as bad as earlier in the night when David Otunga had to play up being one half of a tag team championship reign no one remembers he got a lot of perks. They have JBL on commentary too. Why couldn't he have made that point since he's held pretty much every title in WWE? Wouldn't it have looked better- for The Miz- to compare him with JBL than David "I'm Still Somehow Employed Here" Otunga? So The Usos cheated to win their match and The Usos vs. American Alpha might be coming sooner than later, since you know, there won't be tag titles on the line and The Usos look like Cryme Tyme now.
The Hype Bros are backstage talking when they're approached by the Ascension. I really believe Mojo Rawley is related to Michael Rappaport. Can someone look into that for me??
And now there is a commercial for RAW asking whether or not Goldberg would accept the challenge laid out by Paul Heyman when they showed the tweet on RAW saying Goldberg was booking his flight. Oddly enough, this brings us to the introduction of AJ Styles, a guy who was in WCW in its final days and now he's the WWE Champion, so there's that, Whisker Biscuits. Goldberg coming back to put over AJ Styles would be nice but isn't really needed. AJ Styles tries to bring out his opponent but here comes Dean Ambrose instead. This all comes to a funny end with James Ellsworth as AJ Styles' opponent and Dean Ambrose is the special guest referee, so somehow James Ellsworth got the win over the champ. I actually really like James Ellsworth and if Dolph Ziggler somehow really retired I think a win over The Miz and brief IC Title run could have been interesting. But seeing James Ellsworth vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Title should be interesting because it seems fairly certain that Styles will retain, but who wants to bet they do one of those finishes with two refs where Ellsworth somehow gets the pin and then it's later reversed, the match is restarted and Styles retains? Is James Ellsworth even under a WWE contract at this point? Would it be some kind of history making event for him to win the WWE Championship if he's not under contract? And what does a guy have to do to get a James Ellsworth action figure, Mattel??
In the main event of Smack Down!, after another Royal Rumble by the numbers video package, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper defeated Randy Orton and Kane when the lights went out, Kane disappeared and was replaced by Luke Harper so Orton turned around into a finisher and pin by Bray. Does anyone else think that Luke Harper has been treated like a star since his return? I actually kind of like the idea of James Ellsworth becoming WWE Champion, joining the Wyatt Family and then sort of giving Bray Wyatt the title by laying down for him. It's a thought worth considering, but I really think James Ellsworth could get over in other ways in WWE as well. He got a huge pop when he defeated AJ Styles-- much more cheers than, say, Roman Reigns gets.
We watched NXT next and it opened with the debut of SAnitY against Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode. Sawyer Fulton and Alexander Wolfe started things off for SAnitY by taking an early advantage over Tye Dillinger. Bobby Roode decided not to get in and help and instead left, so Tye was all by himself and took the fall. After the match, two other members of SAnitY got into the ring to beat up Tye Dillinger and reveal themselves to be Nikki Cross and Eric Young. I actually like this stable so far because when you think of stables which currently exist or did exist recently in professional wrestling- The Wyatt Family, The Shield, The Decay, Aces & Eights, etc- you can see pieces of them in this stable as well but it doesn't really feel like a direct ripoff of any of them and it's just nice to see someone brutalizing someone else right now-- just that all out assault. Nikki Cross even had to be pulled off of Tye Dillinger- twice- and that was a nice touch because it should make the other women afraid of her and should make for a rather interesting match should she ever face Asuka (Though I still say Asuka goes to the main roster undefeated and surrenders the title)
Next up, Billie Kay defeated Liv Morgan because apparently Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are besties now. There was a time when I thought a tag team division for the women would have worked in WWE, but now I'm feeling it less and I think that this friendship is just kind of doomed to explode. One day one of them will cost the other a match or something and they'll stop being friends, which kind of seems to be the reason why so many people aren't friends on screen in professional wrestling. Still, it gives them something to do so I'm in favor of it.
TM-61 defeated Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss in the second Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match of the show. Seeing TM-61 and SAnitY advance in this makes me think this tournament is going to be really good. I remember Tino from "Breaking Ground" and the crowd really, really did not like him. So, while this was a nice way to get two newer guys some television time, yeah, I'm just excited to see what TM-61 can do in this tournament and as of right now, this very moment, they are my pick to win the whole thing.
In the main event of the evening, Blake and Murphy had a match against each other because apparently they really hate each other now and Team BAMF is no more. So, during this match, all I could think was "I still can't tell these guys apart". And, I mean, when it comes to tag teams I can usually tell them apart. I can't tell The Usos apart and I still think the Authors of Pain are too new for me to tell apart, but yeah, for this to be their big match after being a tag team for so long... And I STILL can't tell them apart. At this point, even if one was released and the other stuck around I'd be like, "you know, the member of BAMF who didn't get fired". Thankfully, Samoa Joe came out and destroyed both of the former BAMF members for me. There was also a small "Thank You Joe" chant, which I found only fitting and had to laugh at. Joe called for Nakamura or the belt and Nakamura came out. The two brawled a bit and, well, I'm kind of sad WWE doesn't play their main roster shows into NXT more because seeing these two men settle this inside Hell In A Cell would be great.
Impact opened with Eddie Edwards talking about being champion. Lashley came out and attacked Edwards and then afterwards Billy Corgan said that since Lashley attacked Eddie Edwards there would be no rematch for him. Whoa. A lot of people would set up the rematch for tonight, but props to Billy Corgan for doing what seems much more fitting (You can't just have guys going around attacking other guys and thinking that means a title shot)
Up next, Aron Rex defeated Jessie Godderz via pinfall in the third round for the Grand Championship. After the first round, Aron Rex looked really worried and in the second round he almost tapped out. This was a very, VERY poor showing for the former Mizdow and as much as I dislike Jessie Godderz if he won the title here I wouldn't have blamed TNA for booking it as such because Rex just looked plain awful.
Matt and Jeff Hardy have this promo somewhere about ushering in the Broken Era and it's my favorite part of the show so far. Then Allie tells Maria everyone is banned from ringside and Maria continues to bully Allie. EC3 and Moose are talking when Lashley confronts them. Lashley says he talked to Billy and they will have a match against each other tonight in the main event. So, EC3 vs. Moose is going to main event over two title matches (Granted, the Aron Rex one was a poor showing) and even Mike Bennett vs. Cody Rhodes. Makes sense to me!
And then- AND THEN- a recap is shown from the match last week between the Hardyz and Decay and Josh Mathews can be heard plugging the Wolf Creek series AGAIN. Ugh. Josh Mathews feels about Wolf Creek the way WWE feels about "Royal Rumble by the numbers" only, you know, the Rumble thing has to actually do with wrestling. Given the amount of recapping they are doing, I feel like this episode of Impact wasn't planned out very well. Broken Matt Hardy is pleased by a "Brother Nero" chant and so am I. Matt Hardy says they are the best tag team and calls out the Young Bucks and New Day in a way only he can. The Tribunal came out and attacked The Broken Hardyz so I assume it is finally time for these NXT rejects to be deleted.
In the next match, Cody defeated Mike Bennett and I assume rather than mixed tag matches and the such, Cody Rhodes will be moving along since he got his match with Mike Bennett he wanted crossed off of his list. I just wonder if TNA was still in their glory days with names like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and even Austin Aries, would they be stronger with Cody Rhodes on the roster full time? If you imagine AJ Styles as a Ric Flair type and Samoa Joe as a Harley Race type then perhaps they were just missing Cody Rhodes as that, uh, Dusty Rhodes type. But, right now, yeah, it's probably too late for all that.
In an X Division Title match, DJ Z defeated Marshe Rockett. This was an all right match but not really the way I'd build up a newcomer like Marshe Rockett. Oh well. If we don't see Marshe Rockett again I won't complain.
Gail Kim defeated Maria in a No DQ match to retain the Knockouts Championship and for those scoring at home that is the third championship match tonight which has been featured before the main event of Moose-EC3. I also heard someone say this put an end to things between Gail Kim and Maria but I'll believe it when I see it. I guess if the rest of the Knockouts who are not Maria go into some kind of number one contender's match then we can have someone feud with Gail Kim for the title while Maria and Allie hopefully finally feud. Ugh. Whatever.
There is an interesting vignette shown for three masked men who have masks on the table in front of them and that's probably one of the more interesting aspects of this show so far-- the mystery of who it is. It reminds me of when The Addiction brought Chris Sabin into ROH but let's hope it's something different.
Moose defeats EC3 in the main event because apparently EC3's winning streak doesn't mean anything any more and EC3 is just here to lose the big ones now. Moose seems to be poised to face Lashley for the title now and whoever decided this was a good idea should go back to booking school. I'm not going to say what's wrong with this scenario entirely because I feel like everything is wrong with it. Moose wasn't even ready to be champion in ROH, so forget what this means for his introduction to TNA, but is he even ready to be champion in TNA? Thoughts like that though make me wonder whether TNA or ROH is the number two promotion in the United States and that makes my head hurt. Which brings us of course to another possible top promotion in the United States...
Lucha Underground ended the week and it was a rather interesting show where a lot didn't happen. Famous B got his first win while Jack Evans faced off against Sexy Star and the main event was made with Pentagon Dark vs. Chavo Jr. vs. Rey Mysterio Jr and I just... I feel like no matter what they say or how they try and book it I just can't care about watching Rey-Chavo again. It's not that the two don't work well together because they still do it just feels lazy. Is there really no one else on the entire Lucha Underground roster that could have faced either Rey Mysterio Jr. or Chavo Guerrero Jr.? Just looking at the previous matches I would have preferred to see Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Jack Evans over trying to revisit the past. We're six episodes into this season and I just feel like it hasn't been that much to write about and it certainly hasn't been as good- so far- as the previous two seasons. So far, all that really stands out to me about this season was the Marty The Moth-Killshot Boot Camp match. Hopefully by the end of the season everything we're going through now will feel like it has paid off.